Chuck Joins the Machine and Backs Levin in Council Race

The Brooklyn Paper reports that Senator Chuck Schumer will be announcing his support for 33rd City Council district candidate Steve “the Machine” Levin this Friday at Borough Hall.

“This is a very big deal,” said Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Bushwick), who is not only the Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman, but also employs Levin has his chief of staff.

That relationship has encouraged Levin’s rivals to paint him as the “machine candidate,” but Lopez called The Brooklyn Paper on Thursday to challenge that.

“He’s his own man, which, I know, coming from me, on a call like this, doesn’t sound, you know…,” Lopez said. “But if you look at his endorsements, there are a lot of groups and people on his list that don’t like me.”

Brooklyn Heights resident and long-shot candidate Doug Biviano  has characterized  opponents including Levin and former Yassky staffer Evan Thies as members of the “Democratic machine”.

Join us this Saturday at 11am at Biviano campaign HQ for a live podcast of the New Homer Fink Show.   The public is invited to watch and to ask questions.  Details here.

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  • XYZ

    I was actually impressed with Doug Biviano making his rounds late in the evening the other week to talk to people in the Heights. I even think it was a Friday night.

  • Community Reactivist

    This is quid pro quo politics at its best!! Levin works for Vito Lopez, The Brooklyn Boss –head of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. Lopez is a State Assemblyman whose district (and Levin’s) barely brushes by the 33rd City Council District. And now Chuck Schumer endorses Levin. Of course, Schumer has made some good calls in the past — Daniel Squadron was on his staff, and in a year Squadron has done more than the 30 year incumbent known as Marty Conner. And in the interest of full disclosure, Yassky was also a Schumer staffer. Schumer, like most politicians, is ambitious — and I must confess I’ve considered him to be a pretty good senator. Presumably he wants to be Majority Leader of the Senate. So Chuck ingratiates himself with Sandy Levin. a long-time Michigan representative, and Carl Levin, a long time Senator and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Need I mention that both of the legislators are related to Steve Levin? So, depending on how the primary goes in September, Vito Lopez will have a Councilman in the 33rd, and a Senator, or the Leader of the House, on his speed dial. Good for Vito, good for Chuck — but good for Brooklyn??

    Should our district have a councilman (Steve Levin) who doesn’t know the district, lives in Albany 50% of the time, and can’t be bothered to come to local debates? Rather than attending last week’s debate, he went instead to an upstate meeting that was a referendum on Governor Patterson — not a referendum on 33rd District issues. His unrelated political experience notwithstanding, Steve is not qualified to be our Councilperson. The Schumer endorsement has nothing to do with Steve Levin’s qualifications to be our Councilman. The true “machine politician” is the one carrying the heavy carpetbag under his arm. It’s full of the favor chips that he, Steve Levin, needs to feed The Brooklyn Machine.

    Contrast this with Evan Thies, the 33rd district resident with years of experience IN THE 33rd DISTRICT, and in City Hall, under his belt. Thies doesn’t need to spend his political capital on favor chips, and can navigate the Council Chambers without a GPS. He actually attends debates and has spent years listening to our community’s concerns. His positions on our big issues are nuanced and well thought out. Thies has the experience, the record, the intellectual ability and the drive to be our councilman in the 33rd. Don’t mortgage your votes to pay someone else’s political debts. Vote for Thies.

  • Disappointed in Brooklyn

    To Community Re-Activist:
    It is very disappointing to see the Thies campaign turn to mud slinging upon hearing that Steve Levin will be endorsed by Senator Schumer. It appears Community Re-Activist (AKA Evan Thies) has come to the conclusion that his only path to victory in this race is to make misleading and false accusations about Steve Levin being a “carpet bagger” and not knowing the district. At the same time it is also extremely disappointing that Mr. Thies would marginalize the working class neighborhood that 33rd Council District and Mr. Lopez’s Assembly district share.

    I have watched this race from a distance. At first it appeared there would be honest debate but as Mr. Levin began to emerge as the front runner, his opponents have resorted to nastier tactics, of which this post is the latest.

    While I’m sure the voters will be happy to know that Mr. Thies knows his way around city hall, I’m sure they are more interested in a candidate that discusses the issues, goes door to door in the district every day, and listens to the concerns of ALL the people in the district, particularly those less advantaged.

    Unfortunately, instead of going door to door talking with people in the district, Mr. Thies is attempting to win this seat by implying some sort of nationwide conspiracy involving Chuck Schumer, Carolyn Maloney, the Working Famlies Party, multiple unions, and the League of Conservation Voters. Isn’t it more likely that this impressive group of supporters believes Levin is the right candidate for the job and are not impressed by Mr. Thies’ knowledge of council chambers.

    I had hoped this would be a very interesting race with the candidates knocking on doors and discussing issues. It is disappointing to see this nasty brand of politics emerge. With so much suffering in Brooklyn this year, I would hope Mr. Thies would have more to discuss than his attendance record at debates and his knowledge of the interior of a building in Manhattan.

  • The Where

    Truly the government we deserve. Our government is dumb and getting dumber every day. Levin and Thies will not make a difference they will just blend.

  • Community Reactivist

    Not to get too repetitive, but I do not work for Evan Thies. Isn’t it possible that there are people who care about issues and are not on a payroll? As for knocking on doors, etc., my impression is that it’s happening on a daily basis. I don;t know — I’m at work doing my job when much of this happens.

    Regarding the bile and vitriol, perhaps you’re referring to another post – I don’t know. My posts are about the Schumer endorsement, and are not intended to be a policy referendum. I’m just detailing the contacts between the politicians, using easily found information. I don’t malign Steve’s character, simply point out his lack of experience in most of the 33rd District and his non-attendance at debates. And how can there be any honest debate when one of the parties is a repeat no-show? It’s great to discuss issues with constituents one-on-one, but establishing each candidate’s positions requires public, on-the-record discourse.

    Please get yourself a humor injection — I’m joking about using a GPS at City Hall. You’re being way too literal. As far as marginalizing a neighborhood, that is not my intention. It was not the point of my post and the fact is that Thies has more background in the 333rd than Steve does. Period.

    Levin’s own campaign literature tells us what Steve will fight for and not what he has done. We need more information. This race is about the future of our neighborhoods in very difficult circumstances, so we’re all going to have to get in there and ask the vital questions, pleasant or unpleasant as they may be. If you want political discourse to be all saccaharine sweetness, walk on over to Montague Street. You’ll have a choice between Haagen-Dazs and Hallmark.